COVID patient didn’t recognize body after double transplant

COVID patient didn’t recognize body after double transplant

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman who last month became the nation’s first COVID-19 patient to undergo a double lung transplant said Thursday that she woke up days later, unaware about the surgery and unable to “recognize my body.” Mayra Ramirez said that before she fell ill she was an independent, active person who moved from North Carolina to Chicago in 2014 to work as a paralegal. She said she had an autoimmune condition, but was otherwise healthy. She had gone on a three-mile run shortly before becoming ill and heading for the hospital. “I was told to hurry up (and) change,” she said. “I was asked who would be making my medical decisions for me. That’s when I told them it would be my mother and eldest sister who all live in North Carolina. I only had a couple minutes to contact them to let them know what was going on before I was intubated.” Ramirez, 28, spoke to the media on Thursday alongside Brian Kuhns, 62, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, who followed her as the second U.S. coronavirus patient to undergo a double transplant. Ramirez underwent the lung transplant on June 5 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She didn't wake up until mid-June. “I looked at myself and couldn’t recognize my body,” she said. “I didn’t have the cognitive ability to process what was going on. All I knew was that I wanted water.” Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery and surgical director of the Northwestern ...
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